Monday, July 20, 2009

Did I find it?

It's very good to be home and recovering from jet lag. It was good to be on campus Saturday morning watching the food distribution and lunch ministry, and it was a great comfort to walk into the quiet church and just be. It was good on Sunday morning to preach and present a quick overview between services about General Convention.

It was good to be in the midst of parishioners and visitors and hear familiar voices and sounds and enjoy the two birds who joined us at both services. (I think doves might be smarter than bulbuls...)

And it's good to look forward to the possibilities we as a parish have for the coming year.

General Convention was good as well. There were times when it was frustrating; there were challenging times relating to understanding different theologies and different ways of approaching the role we played as deputies. I was challenged and deeply concerned with the bishops who attempted to derail C056 by discharging it and keeping it away from the House of Deputies. (I do think we all need to be aware of how whatever was behind that might play out in future HoB meetings.) But overall, I found good will among those with whom I interacted and observed, good humor, deep faith, and compassion for the least among us.

I had attended expecting this to be my last time as a deputy. But I will run for one more time. I do believe three times is sufficient so others can become part of the councils of the church at that level. But in spite of the hard work of being a deputy, it's important for me to do this one more time. I think perhaps that we in the Diocese of Hawaii need to educate ourselves better as to what is expected of deputies so that those who run are not surprised at the amount of work, time, and energy required or at the difficult decisions that must be made. And I do think that future deputations would fare well to spend more time on group discussions about the issues that will arise.

General Convention is called by some The Great Episcopal Family Reunion. In many ways it is. It's an opportunity to actually be in the same place at the same time with so many we know only through cyber communications. That's pretty exciting. And it's a great time to renew relationships and to make new ones with those in deputations that are in close proximity. If relationship is an important aspect of our faith, then this gathering of thousands of Episcopalians is a significant time to strengthen those ties.

So yes, searching for pono resulted in finding pono in so many places. We did some good work. We were honest in how we presented TEC in its current manifestation. There are some - in the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion -- who are not happy with us. So be it. There are others who are rejoicing that The Episcopal Church took whatever risks necessary to no longer exclude a portion of our brothers and sisters. I hope that other mainline traditions will take courage from our actions and do the same. We are on the road to being more honestly Christ-like in our sharing of the Good News. It will not be easy to live into this; there will always be detractors. But this is who we are called to be and, for that, thanks be to God.

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